If you’re in a leadership role, one of the things your team expect from you and need you to do is make decisions. They want you to provide leadership. In very simple terms, what this means is that you tell them what’s happening next, and what direction they need to take.
If you don’t make decisions, this will give rise to frustration and annoyance. The team are ready and waiting to go, but until you tell them which direction to take, they can’t start!
Of course, you should take time to gather the necessary evidence before coming to a decision, but don’t fall into the ‘analysis paralysis’ trap.
Equally, don’t be rushed into making the wrong decision by impatient team members who may not understand all the complexities involved.
However, not every decision requires lengthy consideration!
If the consequences of getting a decision wrong are small, you can make quick, almost instinctive decisions. It’s when the consequences are substantial that you should take your time and gather evidence before arriving at a decision.
Think about the consequences first.
Once you’ve made your decision, the next step is to communicate it. Until you share the decision, you might as well not have made it!
When you share a decision with others, it’s often (but not always) a good idea to share the rationale behind it as well. By doing this, your team can appreciate the factors you’ve taken into account in reaching your decision.
This has two main benefits –
First, your team can see what you’ve thought about, and understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Because of this, they may well feel able to take further action, moving the business in the right direction with less input from you.
Equally, your team may be aware of factors you have overlooked and can bring them to your attention.
The second benefit is that transparent and open decision-making builds confidence among the team members and influences their view of you as a leader who ‘knows what they’re doing’.
Who would you rather follow – a leader who makes seemingly random decisions, or one who makes decisions that are carefully thought through and clearly explained?